Strong Town side see off O's at Kenilworth Road
Two goals from striker Charlie Walker gave the Hatters development squad a 2-0 win over Leyton Orient at Kenilworth Road.
Walker netted both goals in the first half, the first a header, the second a cool finish from Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu's pass as the Town ran out comfortable winners to keep up their unbeaten record in the Final Third Development League this season.
Visitors Orient, who fielded a strong side including attackers David Mooney and Shaun Batt, had the first chance of the game inside the first minute when Scott Kashket forced Elliot Justham into a smart save, diving to his right.
Slowly, however, with John Still watching on from the stands, the Town grew into the game, with Jim Stevenson, Walker and Shaun Whalley all going close.
But the Town took the lead shortly after the half-hour mark when Walker planted a firm header home when meeting Whalley’s right-wing corner.
Whalley spurned a good chance to double the lead on 34 minutes when he volleyed wide at the back-post following Luke Rooney’s searching pass, but on the stroke of half-time the Town did make it 2-0.
Whalley won a free-kick 35 yards from goal. He played the ball quickly to Ruddock Mpanzu and his accurate low throughball was perfectly weighted for Walker to stroke home his and the Town’s second of the afternoon.
The Town included former Orient scholar Jerome Martelli in attack, and the young forward almost made it 3-0 immediately after the restart when poking wide following Ruddock Mpanzu’s right-wing cross.
Martelli was substituted for Ricky Miller on 53 minutes and the Town sub came mighty close to making it 3-0 when he inadvertently flicked an effort goalwards that was kept out superbly by O’s keeper Charlie Grainger.
Orient stepped up their search for a way back into the game with Mooney curling a shot just wide and then straight at Justham before the hour.
But the Town weathered the visitors’ storm and Walker, sensing his hat-trick, twice came close in the space of a minute with 15 minutes left when shooting straight at Grainger before trying and acrobatic volley that was blocked.
Miller missed a great chance to make it 3-0 and Stevenson had the Town’s final chance in the last few moments when his snapshot was saved by Grainger.
Town: Justham; Connolly, Williams (sub Longden), Lacey, Franks; Rooney, Ruddock, Stevenson, Whalley (sub Maguraushe); Martelli (sub Miller), Walker. Subs not used: Galliford, King.